Anytime Christopher Nolan is releasing a new movie there are thousands of fans ready to debate what the film might be about. That’s a nearly impossible mission to embark on considering it is hard enough to speculate about the plot even after the first watch. Nolan, the 49-year-old director, loves to keep his fans guessing up until the film is released in theaters. With so much secrecy around the movie Tenet, we can only assemble educated guesses about what the movie could entail come the release date.
Tenet was originally going to be released in theaters on July 17th but was eventually delayed twice because of the ongoing surge of COVID-19. Experts are starting to predict that the blockbuster movie will get delayed once again because of the unsafe conditions in theaters, especially in huge market cities such as New York, Texas, Florida, and California. Nolan refuses to release his next phenomenon to streaming services as he waives his undying support for going to the cinema. The wait for Tenet will no doubt be worth it, but until it is released, we are going to unpack every detail about the film and attempt to decipher what it could be about.
Other Nolan Movies
Every single Nolan movie is unique and original in its own way. From Interstellar to Inception; from The Prestige to Memento; they all offer an original, ming-boggling story that leaves the audience contemplating its meaning for days after. Even though each story differs so much from the previous one, they all still have some elements and patterns in common.
The Main Character
The protagonists in Nolan’s movies share some similarities. For starters, they all have the same style when it comes to clothing. The main characters in the director’s movies dress as he does in real life. As far as the story goes, the main characters usually carry a past tragedy related to their wife. Memento, Interstellar, Inception, and The Prestige all have protagonists that are molded by the tragic deaths of their wives.
There is usually a physical device within the story that represents a solution to accomplishing a seemingly impossible task that the characters are about to embark on. For example, in The Dark Knight Rises, Selina Kyle is after a “clean slate” which will be able to wipe her record clean. Another example would be the cloning machine in The Prestige. In the trailer for Tenet, we can see the characters walking through the hallway with a briefcase, and we see John David Washington, the protagonist, wearing a mask. Either one of these objects could serve as a potential use to commence with the impossible mission.
Many people wanted to jump to the conclusion that Tenet would experiment with time travel. That theory was quickly debunked and replaced with the idea of “inversion.” One can only guess what inversion is defined as but after viewing the trailer it seems that the main characters will be moving within the flow of time. Based on dialogue like “We are trying to prevent World War 3,” and “You are not shooting the bullet, you are catching it,” we can guess that the goal is to access the past to change the future… Sounds simple enough… Nolan made a name for himself by creating non-linear stories by using time as a way to manipulate the audience into viewing the story in a specific way. His breakout film, Memento runs its storyline in two directions at once going forwards and backward. Inception uses three different levels of time to converge each level into one dramatic conclusion. Finally, Interstellar breaks through the walls of time by claiming that love can transcend through time and space. The addition of mind-bending cinematography and a transcending score perfectly corresponds with Nolan’s themes. There are plenty more examples of how the director can use the time to his advantage, but one thing is for sure, in Nolan’s movies, time is the true enemy.